SSSniperwolf and Jacksfilms doxxing accusations, explained

The debate over “reaction” content on YouTube has been brewing for years, but a recent incident between two creators has refueled the urgency of the conversation.

The debate centers on Alia “SSSniperwolf” Shelesh, a YouTuber with over 34 million subscribers, and Jack “Jacksfilms” Douglass, a YouTuber with 4.9 million subscribers. Douglass and Shelesh have feuded online for over a year. It came to a head last weekend when Douglass stated that Shelesh filmed outside his home on Saturday. Shelesh shared a video of the incident as an Instagram story, saying “let’s talk like adults,” according to a report from NBC News. On Oct. 20 YouTube said that Shelesh’s accountThe currency would temporarily be demonetized.

What led to the conflict and why was it such an online firestorm?

What is ‘reaction content’ and why is it so controversial?

The term “reaction content” is used to describe a creator of content who responds to, or plays on, an existing media piece. Reaction content has been controversial for a long time; in 2016, the Fine Brothers made an infamous attempt to copyright their “React” videos, which was met with near unanimous criticism. In August, the conversation reignited as popular creators like Félix “xQc” Lengyel “reacted” to long-form content with very little (if any) original input or transformative commentary.

In what way are Jacksfilms, SSSniperwolf and other reaction-content producers involved?

Douglass, who has been creating videos on YouTube since 2006 focuses primarily on comedy. In the past, he has called out “reaction” content that he says fails to meet the bar for fair use, and has even made parody videos reacting to reaction content.

Within the last year, he set his sights on Shelesh’s content, citing a lack of credit or links to original creators and their work, and a lack of transformative commentary. Shelesh is a creator of content who has worked on YouTube and TikTok for the past decade. She posts a lot of reactionary content on both platforms. Shelesh has been aware of Douglass’ commentary, even making jokes about the YouTuberIn her own words, she explains the content of her reaction.

In addition to Douglass’ video callout above, he revived an old joke channel called JJJacksfilms, poking fun at Shelesh’s content and celebrating times she deleted clips. He also regularly made content on Twitch reacting to and even grading Shelesh’s reaction content, complete with a bingo game for viewers to play. JJJacksfilms was designed to put pressure on Shelesh to give credit to original creators, and to provide substantive commentary.

SSSniperwolf is accused of doxxing

On Oct. 13, Shelesh posted an Instagram story with the text, “Should I go visit @Jacksfilms? He lives 5 mins away from my shoot.” She proceeded to add more posts to her story throughout the night, which included a photo of the outside of Douglass’ house and the caption “Let’s talk like adults.”

Douglass disconnected from Twitch while Shelesh was posting these pictures to her Instagram account. posted the following tweet on Oct. 13: “Sssniperwolf just doxxed me on her IG. Creepy, gross, violating,” wrote Douglass, alongside a screenshot of Shelesh’s Instagram story. “What you do is disgusting. Both you and the other person are stalking YouTubers. @YouTube demonetize this dangerous ‘creator’ or just get her off your platform. She posted an IG story right outside our home and deleted it.”

As Douglass’ fans waited for YouTube to respond, they scoured Shelesh’s content, looking for potential additional rule violations. Shelesh also posted updates making light of the situation, including a since-deleted photo of her and her sister with the caption “We show up to ur house wyd??” and a post over Douglass’ tweet, captioned: “This creep has been harassing me for months then plays victim saying I threatened him when I just wanted to talk to him. My intentions are pure. It’s so sad when people have to constantly create drama to pay their bills.”

Douglass was a major supporter of the incident, as evidenced by dozens of posts and videos from commentators and influencers. Of course, the situation also inspired a fair few shitposts and memes — some of which were aimed at YouTube, encouraging the platform to respond.

Polygon has reached out to Douglass and Shelesh and YouTube. We will update the story as soon as we receive a response.

YouTube Responds

YouTube and Shelesh released statements on October 20, one week after the doxxing. YouTube posted a tweet confirming Shelesh had received “a temporary monetization suspension per Creator Responsibility policies.” The tweet also criticized “the behavior on both sides” and expressed hope that the incident would “move this convo to a better place.”

Shelesh made a statement on X, apologizing to “Jacksfilm, YouTube, the entire creator community, and my incredible fans for not being a better example of conflict resolution.” She has since posted a handful of new videos to her YouTube account, with the comment sections disabled.

The response from both YouTube and Shelesh failed to address many fans’ concerns, considering the official comment from YouTube spoke about “both sides,” implying responsibility on Douglass’ side of the conflict. It feels as if the demonetization was a mere slap in the face, and has led to further discussion among the community. YouTube appears to have decided that it will ignore the controversy surrounding reaction content, and profit from it in the meantime.

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